We started out in Salzburg and began by taking a city bus tour. It was just a little 7 to 9 passenger van, and come to find out, the bus driver, who lives in Germany but works in Austria, was a Christian !! He gave Greg a hug when he realized we were Christians, too ! One thing he said that struck me when he was giving us the tour of the city was that “There are 40 Catholic churches in Salzburg and (only) 3 Protestant churches“ ! Sounds like a great need !
We visited the fortress (beautiful view !), and spent a little more time in Salzburg - attended a concert in which a woman played several works on a harpsichord, including what Mozart wrote and played when he was 6, 8 and 10 yrs. old ! Then we took off for Enns, just a little south-east of Linz. We have some long-time friends in France, a pastor and his wife, and she has a sister and brother-in-law who have been missionaries in Austria for some 30 years. I hadn’t thought of them at first, but when we discovered they live in Enns, it looked like a good stopping place on our way to Vienna. They were thrilled to spend an evening with us, and our son, Nathanael, was able to speak in German with them (they spoke some English, too, and of course the “sister” spoke French). Also, they have a daughter named Daniela, studying in Vienna, so she was able to show us around a bit there, and was delighted to do so !
On our way to Vienna, we stopped briefly in Melk and saw that gigantic Abby. I would have loved to do that boat ride from there to Krems, but the timing turned out to be too late in the day, so we drove on to Vienna and met up with Daniela. After a good night’s rest in a hotel, we did a city bus tour of Vienna and then took off for Hallstatt ! That was a beautiful drive through mountain scenery and autumn leaves turning colors, and of course Hallstatt was definitely beautiful !! (no other word to describe it !). That and the mountains were 2 things i definitely wanted to see. Wasn’t it you who told me about Hallstatt, a “quiet place” to get away to ? It certainly was worth going to !
Greg found a place for us to stay that night several kilometers south of Hallstatt, so we again enjoyed God’s creation driving through country roads and mountains. Next morning, it was already time to begin our trip back to France. Seeing on face-book that we were planning a trip to Austria, a missionary friend Greg had gone to Bible school with contacted us and let us know he and his wife lived just north of the auto-route we’d be driving on, so we stopped and had lunch with them in Munich on our way back home. Both with them and with our friend’s sister and brother-in-law in Enns, the fellowship in the Lord was precious - not to mention our 2 nights‘ stay both coming and going, with some dear missionary friends, Paul and Glenda Stetson, in Metz, France !
It was a full and beautiful week. We had been able to leave Sun. afternoon after church, staying with the Stetsons Sun. night, and then arriving back at their place Fri. eve. before finishing our trip back to Lille Sat. morning. We got back just in time for Greg to meet with a few church folks to continue planning our Christmas program, and we were back in Lille in time for church services Sun. Greg’s mom thoroughly enjoyed her trip to Austria, as did our son Nathanael (I think !), Greg and myself. Greg and I were especially thankful for a nice vacation God gave us after a very intense month or more of ministry in Lille. God is so good - Jesus‘ promise in Luke 18:29,30 is certainly true. And we were also especially grateful to Him for protection on the road !
The following week, as it was Greg's mom's last wk. here, we took her down to Toulouse to see Rebecca, Sam and the kids. Just thought you might enjoy getting news of Rebecca : she's very pregnant with #5. The due date is Dec. 25th. The 4 older kids were just great, as usual !!